My encounter with the Moon Priestess has left me in a sombre mood. Memories and stories are such an integral part of our lives. Without them we are but a collection of elements moving blindly through this world. The web of life shimmers like spun moonlight, I can see it all around me. The Fates weave and cut the threads of our existence creating an eternal symphony. If I allow myself to be drawn into the dance now all will be lost. The path my feet follow is set apart. It’s my destiny to seek, to collect, to bless and mourn over the mundane, mysterious and profound stories of all and one. It’s my duty to speak the names of the lost so that they may find a safe harbour. Time has no meaning for the creatures of this place. They ebb and flow with the breath of the forest, emerging from the secret places of the earth. Only in true silence can I hear the voices of the Old Ones. They whisper words of sublime beauty and sadness. Their sighs and admonitions do not tell of defeats only but of renewal. How easily we forget to listen to our hearts. Didn’t the ancient Egyptians beseech their hearts not to betray them in the Weighing of the Heart ceremony? I’m at the heart of the forest now, its rhythm is deep and resounds beyond the boundaries of this ancient place. Sunlight pours through the green canopy and bathes everything in a soft, golden glow. An impulse takes hold to feel the heartbeat, it draws me down to the forest floor. With eyes closed I sense the surge of life flowing around me.
My body becomes host to a myriad of creatures moving through its fertile, moist soil. Seedlings impatiently push through seeking the light. Insect larvae sleep the sleep of the unborn and deep-rooted trees anchor themselves within me. The passage of time is slow, measured in centuries. I am no longer myself but something greater, older. Where does the story end and I begin? The forest quivers as the great bear god makes his presence known. He moves like a shadow, stopping only to gaze at the body lying on the ground. Eyes like a star lit night gaze down at me, unreadable, old, so old. He whispers tales of beginnings and endings, of cave bears and transformations. I travel with him to places in this and other worlds. The Great Bear takes a breath in and turns to look at the approach of the Faerie Queen. They both gaze at the remnants of my human self, now scattered into air, fire, water, earth and ether. The magical alchemy will ensue soon. I ask the Queen ‘are you real or a dream?’, she only smiles in reply. A hand gently touches my back and turns me over. A face covered in foliage smiles down at me. Green Man, Green Man, what brings you here? It seems that first encounter in the forest pool was not to be our last. He touches a finger to my forehead, lips, throat and heart. Do I understand what that means? No, not yet. meaning will only come later. I wake up from a deep sleep clutching an acorn in my right hand. The story isn’t at an end, that’s their gift to me. The acorn is safely tucked away in my bag. The air feels strange, looking around I can see why. Fly agaric is littering the forest floor all around me. Faerie mushrooms.